Friday, December 19, 2008

Debris, diabolical and divine

I once corresponded with a prisoner and visited him when I could. Jerry was in for 12 years for DUI resulting in a fatality; his own wife had been killed when Jerry drove through an intersection at a very high speed. After a few years, he came up for parole, and I testified for him at his hearing. Jerry was released but soon violated parole and fled the state. Eventually, he was recaptured. From prison, he placed a collect call to an elderly widow that he and I both knew and asked her to give me a message: "Tell Michael to buy me a TV set." When the widow, who herself lives on a small Social Security pension, protested that I probably couldn't afford such a gesture, Jerry was undaunted and proposed that she and I split the cost.

I thought of Jerry when reading about the impudence of Rod Blagojevich. The late Frank Gorshin once defined chutzpah as a policeman writing you a traffic ticket and borrowing your pen to do so. The Governor of Illinois, who looks and comports himself like an aging 24-year-old detected in the act of shoplifting smutty magazines, is apparently so bereft of shame or sense that, incredibly, he had even talked to associates about a Presidential run in 2016, or perhaps an ambassadorial post, according to Time. At the rate things are going, I half expect him to end up like former Dyersburg, Tennessee Chancery Court Judge David Lanier, who, outraged that he had been indicted for corruption, went on the run and presently called the police who had a warrant for his arrest and warned them that he would give them just one more chance to stop pursuing him.

Equally lacking in shame or sense are Heath and Deborah Campbell of Easton, Pennsylvania, who named their little girl JoyceLynn Aryan Nations Campbell and their son Adolf Hitler Campbell. The dad, who touted the names as an indication of pride in his German heritage, took umbrage at the manager of a local ShopRite®, who refused to sell the Campbells a birthday cake bearing little Adolf's name, for his third birthday. (Again, this must go under the heading of things you couldn't make up!)

Beside all this, the arrest of Bristol Palin's future mother-in-law on drug charges sounds refreshingly normal. If, as Dilbert creator Scott Adams suggests in his book, God's Debris, the Universe and all within it consists of particles of the Deity progressively reassembling themselves as the reinstantiation of the Supreme Mind, Blagojevich and the senior Campbells may belong to a class of particles that need to be vacuumed up, instead.

© Michael Huggins, 2008. All rights reserved.

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